Patrick Crann turned his lifelong love of lacrosse into his full-time job. The Westfield resident and founder of Celtic Lacrosse has been coaching young athletes "up and down the Eastern seaboard" for more than the past two decades.
The New Jersey native, who recently accepted a coaching position at Glen Ridge High School where he will serve as the team's Varsity Defensive Coordinator this spring, said what makes his training company unique is that he tailors instruction to fit the needs of each player. Crann, who has coached seven high school All-Americans, many All-State caliber players and two NJSIAA players of the year, also offers consulting services to help players and parents navigate the extremely competitive and daunting process of college recruiting.
Crann said he not only can help young athletes and educate them about the nuances of the game but also he can relate to them, having played since he was 12 years old. After finishing as a two-time All-State caliber, two-time first team Fitch division player for Columbia High School in Maplewood, the sport took Crann on a journey from being offered a scholarship to then-number-two-in-the-nation Loyola University in Maryland to Syracuse University and ultimately Washington College, both ranked in the top five in the nation. During those years, Crann played in two National Championship finals at the Division 1 level and a Semi-final and Quarter final at the Division 3 level. The result of that experience, he noted, is that he's enjoyed the benefit of being coached by the "best of the best" and that in turn has influenced his approach to the game.
"I've played for three of the best coaches that will ever coach the game of lacrosse, and their styles have helped shape or develop my own style," he said.
Crann also boasts international experience, hosting his first-ever Celtic Lacrosse clinics in Krakow and Auschwitz, Poland. The coach also traveled to England and served as a local developmental officer for The English Lacrosse Association, while coaching and playing through England.
"I was an ambassador of the game, if you will," noted Crann, who after returning to the U.S., served as Defensive Coordinator for the varsity Lacrosse team at The Delbarton School for four years where he helped the Green Wave get to three State Finals.
Crann will be returning to Poland again this summer to coach, making a stop Vienna, Austria. He will also be involved with the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw, Poland as an exhibition sport for the International World Games Association.
The coach said he has seen interest in the game increase tremendously in the past decade. "It wasn't that long ago that lacrosse was considered an East Coast prep school sport, now it is the fastest growing sport in America."
Specializing in helping players fine tune "the small things" that might not be focused on in a camp setting, Crann said he offers the majority of lessons on the weekends, but can provide players with after-school instruction as well. Though he likes to do much of the training himself, Crann said he has an expert staff who share extensive knowledge of the sport.
"With us, every time we are out on the field we make it an exceptional learning experience," he said.
Celtic Lacrosse serves Essex, Morris, Somerset, and Union Counties. Rates are negotiable and vary depending on size of instruction group. For more information, visit Celtic Lacrosse's website, Facebook page or Twitter feed. Crann can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 201 303 0244.